As a teenager finding, ‘God’s will for my life’ was a big deal. I was focused on choosing the right A-Levels that would lead to the right degree and the right job and the right partner and the right house and the right church and…on and on it went! Those who know me will be aware that my quest to get things 'right' didn’t quite turn out as expected. Whether it was intended or not, the message I received from those around me was that I needed to find where God specifically wanted me to be and serve exactly how he wanted me to serve. I also decided that anything God wanted me to do would be the opposite of what I wanted, in a location far away from where I wanted to be (thank you, Jonah!) I reiterate that I doubt this was the intention of those who helped me on my spiritual journey, but that’s the message I often took on board. Each decision I made was filled with anxiety.
Had I made the right choice?
What if I was meant to be doing something else?
I’m pleased to say I have moved on from this way of thinking but I still catch myself looking forward to the next thing rather than listening for God’s prompting in my everyday living.
‘I want and choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.’
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Through his spiritual exercises, Saint Ignatius encourages us to see opportunities to serve God in the everyday, ordinary stuff of life. The steps of the Daily Examen help us to find ways to live in the moment and review each day without rushing on to the next one.
‘Our response to God occurs now. We are not to be inhibited by our own weakness and failure. We are not to ponder our unworthiness. God is working in our lives now and we are to respond now.’
As we continue on our fourteen-day journey, I hope the Daily Examen is helping you to notice God in the everyday, ordinary stuff of life.
26 Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father.
John 12:26 (Voice)